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Full text of "The Cambridge Natural History"

STORIES OF THE DOLPHIN                          377

pterygoids  are  abort, arid there are thirty-two teeth iii     icK half
of each jaw.
Feresitt, is known from two slrull's which are provided \\ifh
ten to twelve teeth in each half of         jaw. It Is intermediate
between  GlohieepJuilus,  Grwmpua, an-1   Lagcn<*rkync/ii>'*. a». Cording
to Sir W. Flower.
The genus DelpMnus contains the Dolphin &. t:.* 'pTti^ The
genus may be characterised as follows:'—-Teeth s«uilj and
numerous, forty-seven to sixty-five. Vertebral formula C 7y
D 14 or 15, I," 21   or 22, Ca 30 to 32.     The          and   axis are
fused, the  rest  free.     The   palatal   "border   of   the   maxillae    is
deeply grooved.     The fins are falcate ;  the beak loner and, distinct.
The Common Dolphin of the  Mediterranean shows su many
variations of colour, slight differences  in  the  proportions of the
bones of the skull, and in the number of the teeth, that It lias
been divided tip into at least seventeen " species." But M.
Fischer, who has  studied  many of these  forms, does not  admit
them, and most students of this group of mammals follow him in
the matter. The Dolphin is and has been thw rr-ost familiar of
Cetaceans ; in consequence it has accumulated ranch anecdote of
a mythical character. The extreme intelligence and goodwill
towards man assigned to this creature "by the ancients are possibly
due to the anomaly of a creature ostensibly a, fish, showing many
of the characters of higher animala Its nnfehlilke intelligence
baffled the early observers, who at once endowed It with especi-
ally advanced attributes. Hence the stories of Arion and others.
The leaping of the Dolphin out of the water is exemplified in
many Mediterranean coins and coats of arms; the heraldic
dolphin is represented with an arched back as In leaping. The
Dolphin, reaches a length of some 7 feet* and appears to be
world-wide in range. Possibly distinct is D. longirmtri®,
characterised, as the name denotes, by the very long beak; it
has also more teeth and is a native of Malabar. D. rosciventri*
again may be a third species of DelpMnus* It comes from
Torres Straits, and has the under parts rosy in colour.
The genus JProdelphinvs has, like DelpJiinnss a distinct beak;
but it has not the grooved maxillaries, No other character of
importance appears to separate it from DeljpJiimi®,
* See Aete* £oc* Jjwm, JSordeauast 1881; and for another %ure, also oolonred,
Flower, in Trans* £ooL j$&c. jcL 1880, pi, L